10 Wonderful Health Benefits of Lychee Fruit – Calories, Nutrition, Uses & More

Lychee is a member of the soapberry family, having a sweet smell and taste. It is a small fruit packed with healthy nutrients, which is available in summers. Lychee has an outer rough skin while it holds juicy flesh inside. Do you know Lychee was used as a medicine in China since ancient times?

There are many beauty and health benefits of lychee fruit such as reducing the signs of ageing, aiding weight loss, digestion etc. Let us delve further into the many benefits and other nuances of this delicious fruit.

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About Lychee

Lychee is a sweet and juicy fruit which is scientifically known as ‘litchi Chinensis’. It is commonly found in South East Asian countries. Lychee is a small fruit but as they say “big surprises come in small packages”. It has a lot of nutritional benefits and has high water content. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends that for a 100-gram serving of lychee, there are only 66 calories devoid of cholesterol and saturated fat.


Wonderful Health Benefits and Uses of Lychee

This exotic and useful fruit is full of health benefits ranging from weight loss to preventing cancer. Lychees contain a remarkable array of vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. Let’s have a look at all the health benefits that lychee has to offer.

1. Anticancer Effect

One of the most vital benefits of litchi is that it has anticancer effects. Having it on a regular basis in any form, including lychee juice, can actually help prevent the occurrence of this fatal disease. Research using litchi extracts has shown that the fruit comprises of powerful antioxidants and flavonoids. Lychee’s anticancer properties are particularly effective against breast cancer. This benefit is backed by a 2013 study titled “Anti-cancer potential of litchi seed extract” that was published in Research Gate.


2. Promotes Cardiovascular Health

Lychees have a compound named oligonol in them that promotes the production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide or NO is a vasodilator, which means it helps in expanding the blood vessels to allow the blood to flow through properly. This reduces the pressure on your heart to pump blood and reduces the chances of wear and tear. The effectiveness of Lychee in promoting cardiovascular health is validated by a 2016 study titled “Biological and Phytopharmacological Descriptions of Litchi Chinensis” that was published in US National Library of Medicine.


3. Improves Digestion

Litchi is great fruit that helps in managing the overall health of digestive system by cleaning the stomach, improving the appetite, curing heartburn, burning sensation etc. It is loaded with dietary fibre. These fibres control the bowel movement by ensuring its smooth passage through the digestive tract. It also adds bulk to the stools and can work wonders for constipation and other stomach problems. Moreover, it has been backed by a 2015 study titled “Dynamic changes of nutrition in litchi foliar and effects of
potassium–nitrogen fertilization ratio” that was published in the Journal of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition. 


4. Prevent Cataract

Cataract is a visual impairment that is caused due to the blurring of the lens in the eyes. Since cataract affects many people, there have been numerous studies conducted related to it. One study concluded that lychees can help inhibit cataract. The benefit is backed by a 2017 study titled “Nutraceuticals in the prevention of cataract – An evidence-based approach” that was published in US National Library of Medicine.


5. Acts Against Influenza

Influenza is caused by viruses and is an enormously communicable disease.  Certain strains of these viruses show resistance to traditional antiviral drugs and hence there is a need to develop new medications. Lychee fruit extracts have been shown to be more effective against these kinds of viruses.


6. Aids Weight Loss

Being a low-calorie fruit, lychee is ideal for those who want to lose those extra kilos. Lychee fruit has low calories, with 100 grams of the fruit containing only 66 calories. It also contains a lot of water, a significant amount of fibre, and also some amount of fat content. This makes lychees ideal for those looking to lose weight.


7. Increase Blood Formulation

Lychee is a rich source of nutrients necessary for blood production. It consists of manganese, copper, folate, iron, and magnesium that are essential for the formation of red blood cells. The vitamin C content in the litchi enhances the nutrient absorption capacity of the body. The effectiveness of lychee in increasing blood formulation has been backed by a 2014 study titled “Effect of Lychee Fruit Extract (Oligonol) on Peripheral Circulation, a Pilot Study” that was published in Natural Medicine Journal.


8. Prevent Blood Vessel Rupture

Lychee is rich in polyphenols like the bioflavonoid, which is referred to as ‘rutin’. This polyphenol is useful for the strengthening of the blood vessels. Moreover, this component is also useful in treating conditions like varicose veins and haemorrhoids. Consuming lychee or lychee juice can help in controlling abnormal bruising owing to blood vessel rupture.


9. Provide Instant Energy

Litchi is a rich source of vitamin C, which serves a number of significant functions in the body including being an important co-factor in all enzymatic reactions. The fruit plays an essential role in the production of collagen and carnitine that are essential to break down fat and offer instant energy.


10. It strengthens Immunity

The presence of vitamin C in lychee makes it very effective in strengthening our immunity. This water-soluble vitamin is full of antioxidants that protect our body from foreign germ attack. Hence, it is a highly recommended fruit for young kids. It’s quite possible that you have a weak immunity and having lychees is one best option to strengthen immunity. This benefit has been backed by a 2016 study titled “Lychee flower extract inhibits proliferation and viral replication of HSV-1-infected corneal epithelial cells” that was published in US National Library of Medicine.

Also Read: Benefits Of Coconut

Nutritional Value of Lychee

Lychee has a high nutritional value. The fruit is very rich in vitamin C, containing about 71.5 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams. Lychees are also rich in copper and phosphorus. What makes lychees unique is that they comprise of polyphenol oligonol that has antioxidant and antiviral properties.

PRINCIPLE NUTRIENT VALUE PERCENTAGE OF RDA
Energy 66 kcal 3.3%
Carbohydrates 16.53 g 12.7%
Protein 0.83 g 1.5%
Total Fat 0.44 g 2%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Dietary Fiber 1.3 g 3.5%

 

VITAMINS

PRINCIPLE NUTRIENT VALUE PERCENTAGE OF RDA
Folates 14 µg 3.5%
Niacin 0.603 mg 3.5%
Choline 7.1 mg 1%
Pyridoxine 0.100 mg 9%
Riboflavin 0.065 mg 5%
Thiamin 0.011 mg 1%
Vitamin A 0 mg 0%
Vitamin C 71.5 mg 119%
Vitamin E 0.07 mg 0.5%
Vitamin K 0.4 µg 0.3%

Source:www.organicfacts.net

Also Read: Peach Calories | Calories In Strawberries

Risks And Precautions of Consuming Lychees

  • Lychees have high sugar content, which is why people suffering from diabetes should have them in control.
  • Lychees may cause allergic reactions in some people. So, if you have had some history of allergic reactions, you should totally avoid consumption of lychees.
  • Lychees are also known to disrupt the hormonal balance in the body. So, consume them in moderation as they can cause internal bleeding, fever or any other problems.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding ladies should avoid having lychees as they can cause problems like haemorrhage and infections causing harm to the baby.

How You Can Consume Lychee

1. Lychee Lemonade

Make a refreshing summer drink by adding litchi to the classic lemonade.

What You Need

  • 12 litchis, peeled properly
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

What You Have to Do

  1. Blend the litchis till a puree is formed.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend or use a shaker to combine.
  3. Serve in a tall glass with ice cubes.

2. Lychee Pudding

Who doesn’t love having a pudding? Here’s a quick recipe to make yummy lychee pudding.

What You Need

  • 50 g pomegranate
  • 1 ½ cups chopped litchis
  • 200 ml fresh cream
  • 1 tbsp Gelatin
  • 3 tbsp Custard powder
  • 3 cups milk

What You Have to Do

  1. Mix the custard powder in some milk. Now, add this thick paste to rest of the milk and let it boil. Make sure the consistency is thick.
  2. Soak gelatin in a small amount of water and add this to the custard. Mix well. Now, add milkmaid and stir properly. Let the mix cool for some time.
  3. Take another bowl and whisk the cream in it and pour it in the custard. Add pomegranate and litchi and refrigerate it for two to three hours.

3. Lychee Iced Tea 

What You Need

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp black tea
  • 5 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 8 tbsp litchi crush/ litchi puree
  • Ice cubes

What You Have to Do

  1. Boil water in a pan.
  2. Add tea leaves and cover it for 20 minutes. You can add more tea if you like your tea strong.
  3. Let the mix cool for half an hour and then strain it. Add litchi crush and sugar to it. You can increase or decrease the quantities of sugar and crush according to your taste.
  4. Take a glass and fill it with ice cubes. Now, pour the litchi tea over it and serve chilled.

Fun Facts related to Lychee

  1. China is the foremost producer of lychees, followed by India.
  2. There are numerous stories in the Chinese tradition of lychee being used as a delicacy in the Chinese Imperial Court.
  3. Lychee was first introduced to the West in 1656 by Michael Boym, a Polish Jesuit missionary.
  4. It was the favorite fruit of Emperor Li Longji’s preferred mistress Yang Yuhuan.
  5. Lychee requires cold weather for the successful development of flower buds. Moist weather with high temperatures during the summer helps in the production of fruit.

Usually, litchis are eaten with their seed and shell removed. Their sweet taste makes them a great addition to smoothies, desserts, and salads. Besides being a delicious fruit, lychee offers multiple health benefits as well. Hence,  to be in the pink of health, start eating this delicious fruit today!


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